"What?" Kyle winced. "She told your mother?" He shook his head as he walked out in the back yard. They'd just finished Thanksgiving dinner at noon. Ellie and Lon had came with the baby, and Rosie was entertaining them now, before Charlie's nap.
"I can't believe Kelsey would do this." He sighed. "No, I didn't know." He told Nick. "She never told me." He had a bone to pick with Kelsey now. "She's at her grandparents today." Kyle wasn't sure this was something he could talk to her about in a phone call. He and Nick talked a little more. He guessed Nick was OK now, but it still wasn't fair to be outed by your ex, Kyle supposed.
It was a beautiful autumn day out. A great one to take a walk. Kyle was sure he needed one. It was then that he noticed Amanda walking up the street. Naturally, he went to see if she was OK.
"Are you here to get Rosie?" He asked. She hadn't called. She shook her head, no. He noticed then she'd been crying. She looked as if she could hardly breathe. She was so upset as she hugged herself.
"What happened?" He winced wondering if it was over with Elliot.
"I don't want to talk about it." She managed to say.
"But you have to." Kyle said.
"I know." She squinted tears.
"Where's Elliot?" He put his arm around her, and she let him which he thought was weird.
"Home." She sniffed.
"Did you have a fight?" He dug for a handkerchief in his pocket. Usually, he didn't carry one, but Rosie had found one earlier and gave it to him.
"No." She blinked tears. "I don't know how to tell him. I don't know how to tell him about Eric."
"I can't tell him for you, you know." He sighed.
"He's going to hate me." She coughed then and had to blow her nose.
"He might not." Kyle shrugged. "Look, I'll call him. And tell him you walked over to see Rosie. Ellie's here. She wants to see you. You know. She's been asking about you. Wondering how you're doing. You should just try to relax. Don't think about it, you know. It'll be all right. We'll figure something out, and if worst comes to worse, you can come right back here." Now he was about to melt into tears. These were things he never thought he'd say to Amanda.
So he walked her in the house, and Ellie saw her soon enough. Charlie was already down for his nap.
Kyle went back out on the porch and called Eric first thing.
"Amanda's here." Kyle told him.
"And?" Eric was being a bit of a pain.
"Well, you should come over and say what ever it is you want to say to her now." Kyle got to the point.
"Right now?" Eric sounded helpless.
"Jesus, get your ass over here, will you?" Kyle squinted.
"All right. I'm coming over." With that Kyle paced around a bit wondering what would be next. He would call Elliot, but he wanted Eric to get a chance to talk to her first. He did have that right since he was the baby's father. At least, that's the way Kyle felt about it. Kyle sat on the steps nursing his upper lip, waiting for Eric to get there.
Just then he heard the screen door pop. It was Amanda, behind him. "Did you call Elliot?" She wondered. She seemed not quite as upset now as before.
Kyle looked up, and there was Eric with his brother Ian getting out of his car.
When Amanda saw Eric, she thought she might faint, or maybe she wanted to. She didn't want to think about this. What to do or what to say. She wanted this all to go away. But here he was, just looking at her, waiting for her to say something first. But she didn't know what to say.
Naturally, Kyle greeted Ian, and they went on in to leave them alone on the porch. She thought her ears might ache if she spoke and if he said anything would she even know what he was saying.
"Looks like, you've been avoiding me," Eric said so quaintly as if he wasn't mad, but just as unsure as she was what to say. "I've left you messages. I've tried to find out what you want to do. I guess you've decided."
"I know what I want, but wanting something isn't always what you get." She remained even lipped. "It was just a mistake." She shook her head.
"I know." He winced and she wondered if he was just going to stand there at the bottom of the steps. Finally she walked down the steps, and she guessed they were going for a walk. He looked scruffier now. Possibly, just being a college student. She guessed. "But some mistakes can be the best things." He shrugged.
"Yeah, I guess." She tried to say. She wasn't sure what else to say.
"What do you want me to do?" He dug his hands into this jeans as they walked along the street toward the park.
"I dunno." She was solemn.
"Do I get to see it? Do you want-"
"I can't do this right now." She shook her head, almost in tears again.
"All right. I see," Eric stopped and bit his bottom lip, giving Amanda a long look. "I don't want to marry you."
"This is just-" She sighed then. "I liked Elliot from before."
"Before?" Eric winced.
"You know, before I saw you last summer." She hugged herself.
"So you were with him before me?" Eric smiled then as if perhaps he was off the hook, somehow.
"Not like that." She said so quietly as if she didn't want him to know how she'd cheated on Kyle long before he came along. "We've been friends. Really good friends. It was just," she squinted hard. "Why did I have to keep telling him no, but said yes to you?"
"You might never know the answer to that. Possibly, because you were afraid you'd hurt Kyle because he was so close. And you know, we were like across the pond, so to speak." He shrugged.
Amanda just nodded.
"But you want to marry Elliot, don't you?" Eric asked.
"Yeah, I do." She told him.
"Why didn't you ever want to marry Kyle?" Eric looked at her then and a flood of tears came to her face.
"I felt like I'd ruined everything for him, or I would, somehow." She still had Kyle's handkerchief. "I dunno.
There were so many things I wanted to do. I had to grow up. I guess." Eric let her cry into his shoulder then. He hugged her so carefully.
"Woo." He felt the baby kick him, and he smiled.